Rumor is a Latin word that made it to the English-speaking world, to indicate those speculations or alleged pieces of news with no official confirmation. For Napoli and their supporters, the Summer of 2018 has been characterized by a very insistent and fascinating one: President Aurelio De Laurentiis is allegedly negotiating Edinson Cavani’s come back to Napoli from Paris Saint Germain. Or at least he is trying to do so.
So let’s take a look at what is going on, and analyze how realistic is the possibility of El Matador’s return at the foot of the Mount Vesuvius. The suggestion originated during the recent World Cup in Russia, when the Uruguayan striker born in Salto was complimented by his former club after pushing Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal out of the tournament with a killer brace. Cavani put together an impressive performance, which brought the Celeste to the Quarter Finals – where they eventually lost to France.
Two images from that game specifically impressed us: Cristiano Ronaldo helping a limping Matador out of the pitch after he suffered a muscular injury, and Napoli congratulating with him via this tweet. From then on, the Azzurri supporters started to dream, and transfer market gossip went out of control.
Indeed, rumors about a possible come back have been increasing day after day, rather than fading out. Some say that the return of Cavani to Napoli has already been agreed, and go as far as to mention a date when the deal is going to be made official: August 9.
Should the transfer be concluded, it would be a sensational boost not only for the Azzurri, but for the whole Serie A. In one single transfer market session, Italian football would gain Cristiano Ronaldo, see Gonzalo Higuain moving to Milan, Inter performing a pyrotechnic market campaign, Javier Pastore coming to Roma, Carlo Ancelotti to Napoli, and last but not least the most-beloved player seen in Napoli since the days of Diego Maradona coming back to his adoptive home.
Italian press has been quite pessimistic about the possibility of closing such a deal. To Napoli, the transfer of Edinson Cavani would cost between 80 and 100 million euro. The Uruguayan receives a 10-million-euro salary at Paris Saint Germain, and 10 more from his sponsors and image rights. While the French wouldn’t agree to sit at the negotiation table for less than 50 million, the real problem seem to be the latter – as Napoli usually detain 100% of his players’ image rights, with a few exceptions like Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsik, and Dries Mertens.
On that note, two of Cavani’s main sponsors are Nike and Aqua Vitale, and if a solution could be found for the latter – which is a competitor of Napoli’s main sponsor Acqua Lete – solving the contract with the American powerhouse would pose multiple, costly, challenges.
Napoli’s new coach Carlo Ancelotti has been showing himself happy about his current offensive solutions, and the Partenopei board officially denied any interest in Cavani. President De Laurentiis branded the operation as too risky and out-of-budget for his club’s financial situation. Still, the rumor has been growing on growing.
At this point, we cannot but just wait. There are still a few days left before the end of the market session and, who knows, maybe we will see again Edinson Cavani hugging Cristiano Ronaldo after a new battle. But this time, in Italy. In the most beautiful and controversial football league in the world.